Built in the 1860’s, the Maplewood has served as a luxury resort hotel through most of its 150 year history. Constructed on the original site of the Burns & Whitney general store, the property was purchased by Edward S. Pride in the 1870’s and utilized as a furniture store. After adding additional living quarters to the rear of the building, Pride decided to transform the building into a lodging establishment; thus the Maplewood Hotel functioned as a summer resort / quasi boarding house.
Following the death of Pride the property was purchased by Frank and Carrie Wicks in 1923 and transformed into a “grand hotel” wrote the “Commercial Record”. The hotel hosted many community groups as Pride served as the Village President and it was home to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club.
While of the modest means, Wicks secured the services of George W. Maher, a renowned architect of the Prairie School style who blended aspects of traditional homes with the influence of European Arts and Crafts. This influence was accomplished by raising four twenty-five-foot columns in the front of the hotel, masking its previous colonial style with a more formal Greek Revival appearance. Through Maher is known to have built several cottage in the area, the majority of his work was done in Evanston, Kenilworth, Oak Park and Chicago.
The European guest plan encouraged longer stays which appealed to the many visiting artists. One notable visiting artist to the Maplewood was Albert H. Krehbiel. A student of the Chicago Art Institute, Krehbiel was an instructor at Ox-Bow summer camp and returned several winters to paint landscapes of the Lake Michigan area.
Under the ownership of Lynn and Bobbie McCray in the 1950’s the hotel served as the local police dispatch, the bus station and a sometime bakery. The many uses made it prime for restoration when the next two owners arrived. Massive projects were undertaken to restore its grandeur and update facilities.
The current owner, Catherine L. Simon, is a native of Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. Having raised two sons, Catherine left the health-care industry in 1990 to embark on a new venture, as owner of the Maplewood Hotel. Ms. Simon has continued to welcome guests and corporate clients for the last two decades. The Maplewood remains one of the city’s valued historic assets.